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US Brig Niagara by xken - FINISHED - Model Shipways - Scale 1/64

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Dale great image of the mouse being made. What scale is that? I just finished making my mouse for the lower stay for the foremast. I also wrapped the .045" line with thread to replicate the original line.

Here are images of the setup I used to wrap the line and the mouse with my Sherline lathe. I chucked a large alligator clip in the jaw and then super glued a clip to the live center to enable the line to turn while being wrapped as shown below.



The thread was then attached to the jaw end of the rope and with a little tension on the rope with the thread I hand turned the lathe jaw which offered better control of the thread and wrapped about a 1/4" at a time and pushed the wrapped thread towards the starting end. Pushing it along the rope compressed it to a more uniform finish. The length wrapped for the loop end was 4 inches which included the loop and then painted with 50/50 mix of white glue and water. One caution is to check which way the rope was turned and wrap the opposite direction so as not to unwrap the rope when pressure is built up on the live center.


Here is a detail of where the wrapped thread ends on the rope.


When finished I checked the length of the rope needed and calculated that the bowsprit end needed 2 inches wrapped. Which was done the same way.

Next the wood mouse was turned on the lathe; split down the middle and glued in place on the stay.


The mouse was then wrapped using the lathe setup. 


Now there are three more mast stays to do.

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Dale, nice horizontal loom, in the early days of cars electrical wiring harnesses were bundled using a similar concept. I just attached the two foremast stays and started on the main mast stays. Here are images of them with detail images of the ends on how they are attached. Alas my mice are more basic than the one shown in the machine detail. 







Now back to wrapping rope.

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Completed installation of the foremast and main mast stay rigging which required a bit of serving of the lines using thread and my lathe setup. Here are the anchor points based upon the plans and replica ship references. For the lower stays I used .045" line  and the upper stays were .035".









I thought it best to rig the mast stays first in case there was any movement of the masts that would impact the shrouds so now the ratlines can be added along with the fairlead bars.

The bars are lashed to the shrouds and here is an image of the first set so now I get to practice more lashing. 




Now to more lashing.




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Added these wood braces at the top of the shrouds (I do know know the name of them) they are shown on the replica ship but not shown on the plans. Then I added the catharpin using a small brass ring for the thimble. Here is a picture and it is a bit difficult seeing black on black especially doing the lashing with thread.



I used card stock with the lines drawn parallel and pressed between the top of the shrouds and mast to use to align the wood parts.




Next to add the catharpin to the foremast and the rest of the deadeyes then make the brass hooks needed for the futtock shrouds. Very good friends from Ohio stopped by so building will come to a halt while they are here.



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Back to building and added the 16 futtock shrouds. The shrouds required hooks that attached to the eyebolts and these I made from brass using looping pliers. Lines were first seized to the hooks and then indexed behind the wood bar and seized to the shroud.


I then started to add the ratlines using Chuck's .008" rope. I used the lower wood bar as the starting point and worked down and then up from the bar. I cut a 1/4" wide card stock strip as a spacing gauge. The gauge worked quite well being weaved in and out of the shroud lines to adjust the spacing much like a weaver using a loom.

Here is the gauge in place.


Here is the first section completed with the ends on each side only completed with a clove hitch and half hitch, while the middle lines having a clove hitch only. In total 207 clove hitches tied. Once the ends were tied a drop of CA was added to the ends only and once dried the ends were trimmed off. I then painted all the lines with the Ultra Flat Black to simulate the tarred effect.


Now back to finishing the other three sections.

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George, Thanks! Tying the .008" black rope to the .045" black rope really calls into play one's depth perception, patience, dexterity and kenothesis(awareness of body in space) to consistently tie them without damaging the existing structures, especially the davits.


I am pondering whether or not to add the bowsprit safety lines which I understand are on the replica but not the original. Any thoughts from others would be appreciated. 

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Finished the lower level of ratlines all 828 of them. Here is a closeup that shows the distinctive diagonal of the clove hitch with the outboard hitches being tied off with a half hitch. The real challenge was consistency of tension so as not to pull or distort the shroud lines while attaining a relatively straight section and a tight clove hitch.

Once each section was completed I painted them using Ultra Flat Black sprayed into a disposable 1 oz. cup and applied with a brush. This replicated the tarred finish which is hard to photograph up close with black on black.


Here is an overall looking down on the lines.



Now I am starting up the second level which will have .025" shroud lines and 3/32" deadeyes. A bit of advice for those new to ship building like myself; the kit deadeyes burst apart when trying to drill out for the .012" line because they were so dry so I added the shroud line first, seized it using black thread and then I oriented the holes as required and then added a drop of CA all around the deadeye. The CA wicked in the grain of the super dry wood and hardened it for drilling out.

Here is a view of the main mast upper shrouds minus the bar; in tightening the deadeyes I noticed they took a natural twist which I think is why the bars are added to keep them all oriented forward.


Back to the shrouds.


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Just a quick update on the ongoing addition of ratlines. I finished up the second level added the bars for the third level. I will need to order some more Black .008" line that I ran out of. One thing that I will share for newcomers like me to doing ratlines is how to deal with the short lines that have a mind of their own.


What I did was wrap the end of the line around a shroud before starting the clove hitch to hold the end while tying. I also tied a half hitch to hold the clove hitch from loosening while tying the rest.




Here is a view of the second level of ratlines in place.




I then added the ratlines to the futtock shrouds as well. These were a little tricky working on an angle.




Here is an overall so far.




Now to decide whether to use the brown .008" line that I have for the third level and paint them black or wait for the new order to arrive.


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After a hiatus from building over the Labor Day weekend helping my wife at an art show I am back at adding all the mast stay lines for the standing rigging. I added the balance of the lines to the bowsprit and then basically worked fore to aft and bottom to top. I quickly learned that it requires a delicate touch when seizing the lines so as not to warp or deflect the thinner mast sections out of alignment. I left most of the top ends of the lines not glued to allow for rope stretching under tension and adjusted as needed and will not glue them until all the yards are in place.


I found the assembly instructions not very helpful and I felt like a detective tracing the lines to their attachment points; especially when not identified. I am sure part of the problem is my lack of specific knowledge of rigging since this is my first ship build. Following are pictures of most of the lines in place. I also need to acquire a better background for photographing since she is getting bigger.
















Once the final stay lines are completed I will then start the yards working from bow to stern, bottom to top and then add the booms.

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Thanks for your compliments! I found a brass wire used for beading that is stronger than the blackened copper wire. However, it must be slightly stretched before using. One end is held by a vise while the other end is slightly pulled to stretch and straighten.

This stiffened brass wire is then formed around the block. First, I formed a "U" the width of the block using needle nose pliers, slipping the block into the "U" trapping a line if necessary and then gluing with CA before twisting close. As twist is formed when close to the block there will be a triangular opening formed; grip twist with pliers and carefully press the twist to close the triangular gap against the block.   




I moved on to the rigging of the yards and after a couple of futile attempts with the .012" unruly rope I reverted to and airplane technique I used for steel wiring. I cut lengths needed and suspended them with pins into the edge of workbench and weighted the free end with a small spring clamp and added 60% white glue/40% water and soaked the rope using a small paint brush and rubbing gently with fingers to evenly distribute the mixture; I then added more glue worked it in with fingers. Once soaked two more small spring clamps were added to the first for additional weight and slight stretching. Allowed to dry overnight.

The ends were inserted into the loops from the end of the yard towards the middle and seized at the appropriate jack stay. Curves were then carefully formed and attachment points carefully crimped with the edge of pliers for a crisp joint. Curves the repeated to the end and the end seized with a clove hitch.



Here the course yard sling has been added at the center point and checked for balance while hanging. The lashing is between the two thimbles; I selected brown as indicated on the replica ship. 



I will now address the rest of the yards working from the deck up and adding any blocks or other details prior to adding the yards to the masts.




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